Johan Cruijff Arena in trouble: ‘Ajax does not want to put his signature’

The Johan Cruijff Arena is in trouble. Ajax’s home base is the first stadium in the Netherlands that is officially looking for millions to survive the corona crisis, De Telegraaf reports Monday.

According to the morning newspaper the Johan Cruijff Arena will face a shortage of 2.5 million euros if there is no or limited public welcome in the stadium next season. In the worst case scenario the gap could reach six million in the coming years. Henk Markerink, director of the Arena, takes this ‘seriously into account’.

Ajax can help by responding to ABN Amro’s requirement to convert an outstanding loan into a subordinated loan. It concerns a loan of approximately ten million granted by the Amsterdam club last year for a renovation of the stadium. “Ajax does not want to put his signature under this condition,” said Markerink. “And that is why the application to the bank is canceled.”

“We are going to talk again, with the bank, with Ajax, the municipality of Amsterdam. There are more roads that lead to Rome,” said the stadium director. In a response, Ajax says that it wants to think about other ways to close the budget gap. “We are both a shareholder and a partner. But the club has also been hit by the corona crisis,” explains a spokesperson.

If Ajax would not reject ABN Amro’s claim, the Amsterdam club would miss out on much needed repayments and interest payments for its own budget. “Players, management, sponsors and supporters have been asked to make sacrifices. We have contributed to an emergency fund for the Eredivisie. Then you cannot just abandon a loan to the Arena.”

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